Four-time Olympic alpine skier Lindsey Vonn made it official Thursday: the upcoming 2018-19 season will be her final one, even if she doesn’t break the record for most World Cup victories.
Vonn has 82 wins on the circuit, four short of Ingemar Stenmark, and initially intended to retire after this season as long as she set the record. She announced a change of heart at a speaking event for Chase in Manhattan, according to NBC Sports.
“If I get it [the record], that would be a dream come true,” Vonn said. “If I don’t, I think I’ve had an incredibly successful career no matter what. I’m still the all-time winningest female skier.”
Ingemar Stenmark, a male slalom and giant slalom skier from Sweden, raced from 1976-1988.
Vonn’s injury history leads to retirement decision
Vonn thought about continuing into the 2019-20 season, but decided against going any further due to her history of injuries, according to NBC Sports.
She’s suffered ACL sprains and tears, cut tendons (when opening a champagne bottle in celebration), bruised shins, a concussion and various fractures. Most memorably she crashed during a downhill training run at the 2006 Torino Olympics and was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital. She still competed.
“Physically, I’ve gotten to the point where it doesn’t make sense,” Vonn said. “I really would like to be active when I’m older, so I have to look to the future and not just be so focused on what’s in front of me.”
She said after the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where she won bronze in the downhill, she wouldn’t “quit” until she got the record but hoped it would only take one more season.
Vonn, who turns 34 in one week (Oct. 18), also has a gold in the downhill and a bronze in the Super-G from the 2010 Vancouver games. She competed in the 2002, ’06, ’10 and ’18 games.
When healthy she has approximately seven wins a season, making the record within reach.
Vonn might ski exhibition event against men
Vonn said she plans to go after the wins record by racing every downhill and super-G event throughout the season until she breaks it. She said she won’t be racing giant slaloms or slaloms.
The first race is at Lake Louise in Alberta, her favorite course, the first weekend of December.
Retiring at the end of the season would leave her short of another goal: racing against men on the World Cup.
Per NBC Sports:
She said Thursday she could still do an exhibition event. Perhaps a head-to-head format.
In the spring, Vonn tabled her proposal to the International Ski Federation (FIS) to be allowed into a men’s race this fall but tweeted, “I haven’t given up on this. Just delaying it one more year.” FIS has denied her bid in the past.
What’s next for Lindsey Vonn?
The skier dropped a tweet coinciding with her Chase Ink partnership small business collaboration that hints at her next challenge.
My experiences on the slopes have helped shape me into who I am today. I’m confident those same lessons will pay off as I begin to explore what’s next for my career. #ad Tune in to my Facebook Live today with @ChaseforBiz. #ChaseInk https://t.co/CvGTyV1kWC pic.twitter.com/qRdOJxlQBx
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) October 11, 2018
She sat down with Yahoo! Finance on Thursday to share her next steps in founding a business and though they tried to pry out of what exactly it is, she declined to share yet.
“I’m very passionate about beauty. So I’m currently in the process of doing something cool. I can’t tell you what,” Vonn said. “And also outerwear. Obviously I’m a skier and I know a lot about being cold and I think I have a lot of good ideas to contribute. So a lot of good things coming.”
Vonn also said she wants to expand her Lindsey Vonn Foundation, which provides scholarships and programming for young female skiers.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• LeBron: ‘In order to win, your teams have to be great’
• Heat star sues vet over his show dog’s neutering
• Khabib threatens to leave UFC, forfeit paycheck
• Exclusive: Pac-12 ruling raises major suspicion